8 Must Do Day Hikes in Oregon

Silver Falls, Oregon

Silver Falls by orvalrochefort

Spring is here, which means its time to start planning your warm weather hikes, day trips and summer vacations. So dust off your hiking shoes and head out to explore more of Oregon with these eight must-hit trails!

Silver Falls Park

Wander through a temperate rain forest, lush with wildlife and trickling water at this beautiful state park. Follow the Canyon Trail along Silver Creek to take in 10 majestic waterfalls. Ranging from 27 to 177 feet, the waterfalls on this trail and the stunning beauty of the natural surroundings keeps you in awe of the Cascade foothills around each turn. Also with over 25 miles of trails, it’s an easy park to explore over and over.

Multnomah Falls

Tumbling an impressive 620 feet combined, Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s largest waterfall. With its white cascading waters against the evergreen forest, the falls shine as one of the iconic destinations along the Historic Columbia River Highway. Even though a frequently busy location during high season, the falls is worth the stop. Get out of the car and explore along the 1.2 mile hike to the top for great views of the waterfall and Columbia Gorge. If you’d like to extend your hike, continue another 6 miles to Larch Mountain.

Smith Rock State Park

There are several different trails of varing difficulty at this iconic central Oregon park. Enjoy bird watching and hiking along the river and don’t forget to take the short .5 mile hike along the Rim Rock Trail to take in the beautiful views from the park’s main lookout.

Tillamook Head, Oregon

View from Tillamook Head by OCVA

Tillamook Head

Rising 1000 feet from the ocean, this jagged cape offers three beautiful trails to explore its coast-swept sands. Not only a stunning sight today, this headland was also a part of the original route of Lewis and Clark.  Stare out to the vast Pacific Ocean and take in the fantastic coastal wildlife that hugs this rugged stretch of the Oregon Coast.

Sweet Creek Falls

Follow this twinkling stream near Mapleton through a canopy of lush trees as it flows toward the Siuslaw River and out to the Ocean. An easy 1.1 mile hike along a dirt and grated platform trail leads you past a series of tiered falls to the main waterfall. This is great hike for kids! If you want to get a second view of the creek, continue from the Homestead Trailhead up the road to the Wagon Road Trailhead and take the .8 mile hike back down toward the falls on the other side of the bank.

Note: Lane County Public Works will start construction on Sweet Creek Road in July 2012 that will cause significant delays. Construction is expected to continue through August 2013. So get out there this spring!

Anthony Lake

Anthony Lake

Anthony Lake by Baker County Tourism

Explore pristine alpine lakes surrounded by wildflowers and take in stunning views of the granite peaks of the Elkhorn Range with a day hike near Anthony Lake. Several trails make this mountainside paradise accessible for a wide range of hikers. Follow an easy 1-mile path looping the lake or tackle the 8.2 mile loop around Gunsight Mountain. Located in Eastern Oregon, Anthony Lake is about 20 miles north of Baker City.

Oregon Table Rocks

Jutting 800 feet above the Rogue River Valley, the Oregon Table Rocks are an iconic landmark in Southern Oregon. Created by lava flows filling ancient canyons, these vast mesas now are home to hundreds of acres of meadows and rock flats protected as a nature conservancy. Explore the spectacular diversity along the easy/moderate 2.8-mile hike to the Upper Table Rock; for a longer hike follow the 5.4-mile trail up Lower Table Rock. From the top enjoy beautiful views of the Rogue River Valley.

Steens Mountain

For amazing views of the arid eastern Oregon desert landscape, hike atop Steens Mountain. Drive the highest road in Oregon that follows the ridge of this mountain range and its mile-high cliffs. To stretch the legs, take the three short paths to various viewing stations of the canyon. If you are up for a challenge, take the 2.4 mile hike descending 1100 feet to Wildhorse Lake to take in the beautiful bowls of wildflowers lining the valley. TIP: Before heading to this remote area, fill up your gas tank in Burns, Oregon.

What is your favorite Oregon hike?

Not Your Paint By Numbers Art Scene

Numberism Art by Sienna Morris

Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of traveling to Portland, Oregon a handful of times and exploring the city’s thriving arts scene. From live theater performances to art walks, café concerts and plays, Portland houses hippies to hipsters and everyone inbetween for an unforgettably creative gallery for the arts. One of my favorite art vendors to stop by is the huge, eclectic Portland Saturday Market along the Willamette River. Featuring hand-made goods, jewelry, paintings, glass art, ceramics and so much more, the market is a wonderful showcase opportunity for all the local artist.

On my most recent trip to the Portland Saturday Market, my friends and I stumbled upon the most amazing booth - Fleeting States Studios by Sienna Morris– where we all made an thorough donation.

Using numbers to build images frozen in time, Sienna Morris creates numberism art that evokes emotion and aww in its imaginative projects – this is no simple kids’ paint by number.

Each image is created using only numbers and each string is painstakingly thought out to represent the mathematical, scientific or numerical representation of the image. The amount of thought and precision that goes into each creation just blows my mind.

The most extraordinary piece that I viewed in Sienna’s booth was her creation called “A Cello.” The strings are drawn with the hertz frequency along the notes, the wood of the bow is drawn with the Pythogorean comma and the body of the cello with the speed at which sound travels parallel to the grain of wood! View this amazing work of art here.

Falling to Pieces by Sienna Morris

Falling to Pieces by Sienna Morris

Sienna created her first drawing in 2008 titled “Falling to Pieces.”  My friend Sarah purchased a reproduction of this moment frozen in time, which is built using the numbers of the clock, 1-12. The image represents a moment in time that is precious and intimate, yet quickly disappears like the numbers falling away from the two faces.

Midnight by Sienna Morris

Midnight Special by Sienna Morris

Bioluminescences by Sienna Morris

Bioluminescences by Sienna Morris

My friend Dani purchased for her sister, the piece titled “Bioluminescence.” This drawing is much more complex then the first. The fireflies’ abdomens are drawn with a chemical formula for their bioluminescence, while the light coming from the fireflies is drawn with the speed of light (299792458 meters per second). The girl is drawn with the numbers of the clock, 1-12 to represent the moment in time.

My friend Bre bought from the booth’s display, a piece titled “Midnight Special,” which depicts a Billie Holiday-esque image of a young lady holding an old fashion microphone. This image is also created with the numbers 1-12 as part of her time collection.

Finally, I purchased the beautiful intro piece, “Et Memorium.”

I highly recommend stopping by Sienna Morris’ booth at the Saturday Market or viewing her collections online.

One Year of Adventures

This week I celebrated my one year blog-o-versary! Woot Woot!

With 233 (make that 234) posts, 21 pages and three re-designs, it has been quite the journey. I am thankful for every view, every comment and every follower who has joined me along the way. I hope to continue bringing great adventures from my travels, more photography snippets into my life and maybe a few surprises along the way – not to mention 10 ultimate hikes!

I think what has impressed me most this year is just how much I learned and grew. From my writing and how I connect with people to my photography and organization, each post is a learning experience that I savor.

5 Great Things I have learned this year:

  1. Blogging pushes me to try new things
  2. There is beauty everywhere! Even in spider webs, fog & spandex
  3. I can’t cook and people love that (one of my top posts for the year is this burnt mess)
  4. Words can lead to self discovery
  5. Stories and photography bring people together

While my life has certainly gotten busier since April 2011, I am still excited for another fantastic year on The Joyful Shoehorn!

Let’s take a look at where in the world the past year went?